Claude Monet1840 – 1926, Nymphéas (Water Lilies) 1906, oil on canvas,88.5 by 100cm. 34 3/4 by 39 3/8 in. Estimated at £20-30 million/ $33-50 million . Image courtesy of Sotheby’s
LONDON— The recent announcement that Claude Monet’s Nymphéas (Water Lilies) of 1906 will be auctioned during Sotheby’s London Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale is generating a lot of excitement across the globe. “This is great news,” said one art collector. Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale will be held on Monday 23rd June 2014.
Estimated at £20-30 million/ $33-50 million, Claude Monet’s Nymphéas (Water Lilies) of 1906, is instantly recognizable and revered the world over. Monet’s Nymphéas are among the most iconic and celebrated paintings of the turn of the century. The profound impact the series has made on the evolution of modern art marks them out as Monet’s greatest achievement.
This painting was selected by the artist to be exhibited at his seminal exhibition held at the Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, in 1909 to unveil his Water Lily paintings in a show dedicated purely to this subject. It had also been singled out and acquired by Paul Durand-Ruel – the legendary art dealer who championed the Impressionists and represented Monet, among many other of the greatest artists of his time – and it remained in his personal collection throughout his lifetime. The painting has since been widely exhibited at some of the world’s most prestigious international museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, and since 2011 has been on loan to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. It is this painting, together with the others in this series, that eventually led to Monet’s Les Grandes décorations which were painted between 1914-26, now in the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris.
Helena Newman, Sotheby’s Co-Head, Impressionist & Modern Art Worldwide comments: “Impressionism’s greatest genius was Claude Monet and his finest works were the increasingly abstracted paintings he made of his lily pond at Giverny near Paris. Museum-quality paintings of this importance are the driving force in the art market now and this work’s square format and exquisite coloration has already attracted much attention when exhibited internationally in the lead-up to the sale.”